Review: X-Men Days Of Future Past
Fox studios has just released its seventh movie in the massively popular X-Men franchise, and it looks to be another hit based on ticket sales. One of the biggest complaints by comic book fans about Fox’s version of the X-Men is that it strays too far from the comics and there are so many continuity issues. I’m tired of going to blogs and hearing someone say “Marvel needs the rights to X-Men back”. I’m telling you right now, that while I want to see X-men with Marvel characters on screen, if they do this it wouldn’t be a good thing at this time. Why? Because everyone who isn’t a comic fan knows what the movies have brought to our eye. Don’t forget that Bryan Singer brought us X-Men and X2: X-Men United at a time where comic book movies were just becoming popular. X-2 is one of the BEST of the whole franchise.
Then X-Men The Last Stand came along. I enjoyed that movie for its high points, but I do acknowledge its flaws. Of course at the end of that movie, the only confirmed “Death” was that of Jean Grey. We never saw Cyclops’ body, and his glasses were left floating in the air. To me, this always meant that she never killed him. Everyone got their powers back that lost them, and Professor X transferred his mind to a new body.
Of course, this was followed by the X-Men Origins Wolverine. Again, there were parts that were strong, but what they did with all these characters left a bad taste in most people’s mouths. X-Men First Class and The Wolverine finally came about and reinstilled energy in the franchise. It gave faith back to those who had lost it, except for the whiny die hard X-Men comic fans who can’t imagine that the movies won’t be EXACTLY what they read in the pages. Those are the same people who claim that the Avengers is a perfect comic movie, and yet don’t realize that most of what Marvel has put on the screen has strayed from core source material.
I’m one of those fans who is a comic fan AND a movie lover. I go into these with a very open mind, and yes I get upset when I see certain things that don’t do justice. When I saw some of the trailers for Days Of Future Past I shook my head. Then I started hearing talk about it and became enraged. “Why would they do this and ruin it more?” I learned my lesson however to NEVER assume anything from a trailer. Everything this movie presented corrected most of what people whined about, while creating another flaw that is gladly accepted over the appaling other ones that were there and are now gone. From here on out in this review there will be MAJOR SPOILERS. I’m also going to speculate where this will take the franchise. If you want to know my review, scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating.
The future we are given to kick off the movie is dismal and dark. We are shown over and over how deadly the sentinels are, and presented with some moderately graphic death scenes. It is everything that I pictured the future to be in this story. Then we go to the past, which picks up a few years after the First Class movie. It’s the 1970s, and the X-Men aren’t even together anymore. Two different periods of time, and both very effective. Let’s check out the characters involved.
Wolverine/Logan: One flaw I found with Wolverine is that they don’t explain how, after the events of The Wolverine, that he has metal on his claws again. We can only assume from a comment made by a young Magneto, that the older Magneto put the metal back. It makes sense and probably would have confused anyone that didn’t see The Wolverine as to why they just let this go. It’s implied, but not flat out explained. Regardless, Hugh Jackman continues to own this role. He’s at his largest in body size, and you can tell he genuinely cares about the role. Whether talking about the old Logan or the pre-Weapon X young counterpart, Wolverine is cleverly used here. In his future version we see yellow and blue in his “costume” as a little nod to his classic comic book outfit. Another Easter egg thrown in was when Magneto impales him with the rebar and bends it around his body. This closely resembles the scene in the comics when Magneto stripped the adamantium from Logan’s bones. My only issue with Logan here is that he is pulled out of the water after what is obviously a few hours at minimum, and he suddenly just starts coughing the water from his lungs. Does his healing factor just do that? Every few minutes the lungs try to work? If so, then that could be an eternally painful death for Wolverine were that the case. I don’t know what it is, but it is a scary thought.
Professor Xavier: Patrick Stewart’s portrayal in the future is classic. He’s always done well in this role, and I loved that he had a hover chair as well. James McAvoy not only could pass off looking like a younger Patrick Stewart, but he equally owns the part. I was kind of turned off at first by the self pity he was wallowing in, and the fact that Hank made a drug to help him to walk might explain how Xavier could walk in his brief cameo at the end of Origins Wolverine. Then again, because his face was so badly CGIed in Origins, perhaps it was supposed to be a projected image of himself just like he did with Mystique in the airport. DOFP was more of an established origin for Professor X than first class was because he also accepts that he will become the man he was meant to be.
Magneto / Erik Lensherr: Ian McKellen had little screen time in the future, but like everyone I felt he was utilized well. If he had a little more dialogue I’d have been happier, but maybe less is more, and they sent him off well. Michael Fassbender easily became the villain in this more than almost the sentinels. I liked the nod to him being Quicksilver’s father, and the plastic prison that will again become a part of X2. I am wondering how far magnetism can go however. Does he have an engineering background where he suddenly knows how to control robots? I can see him gaining control of the sentinels (he did often in the comics), but he sort of just let’s them loose on the “mutants”. He’s a mutant too, so why wouldn’t it just attack him? I also thought it was flawed that he was just able to leave at the end. Xavier should have stopped him. Wouldn’t the government people who watched Mystique stand up against him suddenly believe that they helped him escape if he could have been stopped? Or did Xavier place a thought in their minds?
Raven Darkholme / Mystique: Jennifer Lawrence is a MUCH better Mystique than her predecessor, and she looks equally as menacing. The fight choreography of the character and her becoming the unpredictable “hero” really had me smile. I was glad that they did what they did with her. My question is this…. does her appearance as Stryker at the end mean that she killed him? I have a theory about this that I’ll mention in my speculation at the end.
Storm: Of all the characters in the X movies, Halle Berry was never one of my favorite choices to play a role. Storm was sent off well here as well. She didn’t need much dialogue. They gave her shorter hair (a mowhawk would have been a good nod, but what she had was nice). Her taking out the Sentinel carriers the way that she did showed how powerful she really can be, and her impalement by the sentinel’s spear hand was a relief. My favorite part is that Logan flat out tells a younger Xavier to remember Storm and seek her out along with Scott and Jean. That means most likely a recast as younger versions in the next movie.
Rogue, Cyclops, & Jean Grey: Their cameos as well as Kelsey Grammar as Beast was a great way to acknowledge all of the past mistakes. It means that them being there confirms that the everything is open for the future. Origins Wolverine, X-men, X2, The Last Stand, & The Wolverine will no longer happen. They can literally do anything with a younger cast and the results of this movie give us a fresh beginning, only keeping First Class & DOFP (the past elements) as something that is continuity.
Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat: Ellen Page had a minor, but significant role. Her time phasing powers are not part of the comics, but being as she was the one to go back in time in the comics instead of Logan, I felt this was a good way to include her in the whole segment. There was no other way to do this because of all of the prior continuity errors, and adding a mental time phase to her existing phase powers felt naturally logical. I also liked the slight nod at the end to her and Colossus’ relationship from the comics.
Hank McCoy / Beast: One of my issues before seeing this movie was hearing that Hank would be very “Hulk” like and only turn to beast when he became angry. The way they explain it is redeemable though. He created a serum to give him the appearance, but he obviously will embrace his inner beast as Grammar is in full Beast makeup at the end. It’s a good tool to use, but I hope they get rid of this for the next movie.
Bolivar Trask: Bryan Singer explained that this is not Trask from X2. So who is Trask from X2? Is he Peter Dinklage’s son? Doubtful. I guess he is just another Trask. Aside from this continuity issue, Trask was perfect. His purpose and usage was not over or underdone. The slight change from the comics is that the future is caused by Senator Kelly’s assassination. In this case, they had to change it to Bolivar Trask because Kelly was already established in X-1, and there couldn’t have been a better substitute for character swaps.
William Stryker: He is only a major in military rank in this one, and there IS a continuity flaw with him. In Origins Wolverine, Stryker and Logan met during Vietnam. Here it is a few years later and it doesn’t seem like he knows him at all when he sees him. The mention of his son Jason was nice (Jason Stryker was the mutant “Mastermind” in X2 who cast illusions into Xavier’s mind). His purpose could have been filled by any other military character. Why they chose to throw him in and cause another continuity issue is beyond me, but at this point I’ll bet they were just trigger happy with the cameos. I really wish they hadn’t used him.
Quicksilver / Pietro “Peter” Maximoff: Nightcrawler was my favorite in an X-film so far, but Quicksilver has replaced him. At first I hated the costume he wore from the ads, but now it makes sense after seeing it. His main scene was so beautifully executed and the nod to him being Magneto’s son was awesome too. As much faith as I have in Marvel for cinematic excellence, I don’t know how their Quicksilver will top this one. I can’t wait to see more of him in Apocalypse.
Cameo X-Men: While most of these had no or little dialogue, they were all utilized well. Bishop was awesome! Colossus finally got some epic battle time. Blink’s powers looked awesome, so much so that I made sure I wasn’t blinking so I could fully capture what was going on. Sunspot and Warpath were nice additions, though were of very little use. The same could almost be said about Iceman, but we finally got to see his ice slide move, which gave plenty of chills I’m sure. Havok, Toad, Ink, & Spyke had a fun little scene and I wonder where they will be headed off to.
Mystery mutants: If anyone knows who the white haired guy was at the beginning, who found the X symbol and then was killed, please let me know. I assumed this was a young Cable, but it could have just been a generic mutant. Also, Bryan singer confirmed that the little sister with Pietro was NOT his twin, Scarlet Witch. But if not her, then perhaps it was younger sister, Lorna Dane? I know that might be a stretch, but it is the movies, and since Polaris (Lorna Dane) is also the daughter of Magneto, maybe they planned that.
Sentinels: This was just plain awesome. The Sentinels in the 1970s reminded me of watching the old cartoon from the 90s. They were fun to watch destroy and I waited for the “Surrender Mutant” line of dialogue somewhere, but it never happened. In the future, the Nimrod sentinels were downright terrifying. Just plain amazing!
The Chris Clairmont (He wrote DOFP storyline in the comics) cameo, and mentions of other characters here and there were fun easter eggs for any comic book fan, but my favorite was En Sabah Nur. I have wanted to see Apocalypse as a villain since Xmen 1. Now we are getting him. His post credits scene had my jaw dropping, and I noticed that his 4 horsemen were sitting in the background while the young mutant pharaoh built the pyramids. I cannot wait til Apocalypse.
My only real regret with this movie is that they killed Azazel and White Queen. The problem isn’t with Azazel, because he could have impregnated Mystique somewhere along the way and still had Nightcrawler. The issue is with Emma. With her dead, there is no way she’d ever be a part of the X-Men later down the line. It’s nothing that will make me lose sleep, but they could have thought of another way.
Now that I’ve exhausted my opinions of the characters and plots, I want to speculate on where this could all lead based on what we know as fact from where we stand at the end of Days of Future past. X-Men Apocalypse will have Xavier’s new recruits taking on Apocalypse and his horsemen. Who will be with Xavier? They set it up for a young Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey to accompany Professor X and Beast. It is also confirmed that Quicksilver and maybe Scarlet Witch will play a role somehow, in addition to Gambit, played by Channing Tatum. We also know that it takes place in the 1980s. Who will the horsemen be? Here’s my theory… I think Mystique killed Stryker and rescued Logan from the water. Why? She is working for Apocalypse who has been watching from the sidelines. Wolverine will get metal back on his bones, but not from Weapon X now… instead he will become the Horseman of death. There was a brief stint in the comics where this happened. Making Logan a bad guy would be so smart because it will really put the team to the test, and he finally won’t be a hero. Wolverine, Mystique and two others as horsemen (sorry, no archangel, because he’d be too young in the 80s). I also believe that Nathanial Essex would be a servant to Apocalypse, setting up the next movie where he could be Mr. Sinister and take young cyke and jean.
Wolverine 3: With no weapon X program, he’d probably (after being released from Apocalypse’s control) join up with Alpha Flight. They could take on Omega Red and have Sabretooth return to turn against his “brother”, Jimmy (Wolverine’s birth name).
Deadpool: MAKE THIS MOVIE RATED “R” and Give Ryan Reynolds the chance to show what he has as this character.
Sorry for such a lengthy review. I’m sure I even missed stuff, but there was just so much scale to this movie. After just over 2 hours, I felt I could have watched another 2 hours and not gotten tired. This was non-stop action and suspense from the beginning until the end, and executed really well. While fixing a plethora of mistakes, they created only 2 real flaws, and neither of them matter. I have to rate this at a 9 out of 10 sCrypt coffins. What did you think of the movie? Did I leave something out? Where do you see it going from here? Fox has earned the rights to use these characters and I am not disappointed by the scope of what they’ve accomplished. Well done, Singer and crew.
Editorial: Overwhelming Comic Movie News
This has been a week of news that may even surpass that of comiccons. Fox, Sony, Marvel, and Warner Brothers continue to compete with each other to see who can get the most news to us, and most memorable. Here is a quick summary of what we know about the upcoming films/shows, and my own speculation/suggestions as to how it should happen or may happen.
X-Men Days Of Future Past: The Wolverine leads directly into this (you’ll know what I mean if you saw the end credits scene). The cast of the original cast (well most of them) and the First class cast (most of them as well) will be taking on the classic story from my child hood. We know that Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the main villains. We also know that newcomers Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Quicksilver, Ink and Blink will be in it. Wolverine will be sent back in time to “possess” his younger self, and try to prevent the events that lead to mutant prejudice. This event is probably the assassination of JFK, which Magneto is assumed to have been responsible for, and mystique having some sort of role in it. —— This will be a reboot, sure, but what will it mean for the past cast? Will they kill off Logan? He’s not getting any younger.
X-Men Apocalypse: All we know now is that Apocalypse will be the villain. —— They should bring back Angel for this story. It’s only logical. I believe that the events in DOFP will change the future in a way where Age of Apocalypse will begin. A darker present will emerge, with the first class characters and possibly a recasting of some of the veterans. Cyclops should be brought back. We never saw a dead body in X-3. He could have been taken by Mr. Sinister and made into one of the horsemen along with Archangel, and two others.
X-Force: All we know at this point is that the writers like the current run in the comics, and are working on it. —– Who should be involved? I personally want to see Domino, Psylocke, Cable, Deadpool, and Archangel. Maybe even fantomex or a cameo by logan, but I really think this should be fresh and not use Wolverine.
Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman is back with the same director who did an outstanding job on The Wolverine. He’s now got bone claws, which may be corrected by magneto being an ally in DOFP. Either way, it’ll be fun. I want to see Alpha Flight and Logan going up against Omega Red and Department H. I can’t think of a more fitting storyline for them to tackle, and they can end his run here respectfully. Unless they want to do an old man logan storyline, which would be awesome.
Fantastic 4: It will be a reboot, and exist within the same universe as the other Fox owned Marvel properties.
The Amazing Spider-man 2: Electro is the main villain. Gwenn Stacey dies. Rhino and Hobgoblin (Ultimate versions) are in it. Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Venom and Morbius were all hinted at in the trailer. —- This needs to be done VERY carefully. As much as I want to see Sinister Six on screen, and Venom done right, I can’t see how they can cram it all. If (Mecha)Rhino and Hobgoblin are in it as small roles, then it’ll work. Having it set up for the third film, which is planned already with Rhino at least returning, and introduce Black Cat would make the most sense. Then they can taper off into 4, which is also confirmed as in the works and bring in Mysterio as a singular menacing villain. There are various spinoffs in the works too… I can only assume (and hope) that one of these is Venom, and will feature Carnage as the villain. Make it dark and gritty.
Thor 3: It is all but confirmed. The Dark World has grossed over 600 million worldwide, so it’s inevitable. —– thoughts? I believe Loki died in 2, and made a deal with Hela for Odin’s soul, so that he could come back and assume the throne. Loki teaming with Enchantress and Executioner and a reference to Surtur and Hela would be a great way to keep it going.
Guardians of The Galaxy: What we know is that it might take place slightly in the future, that the Collector is the villain, that Adam Warlock’s cocoon was in Thor 2. We also know that The Mind, Space and Soul gems have all been used in the movies, and that there is a good possibility we will see the Time gem, and maybe another gem make their debut, setting it up for Avengers 3 with Thanos.
Avengers Age Of Ultron: Quicksilver and Scarlet witch are new additions with Ultron as the villain, and the original cast returning. —- This will probably be an epic movie, though I’m a little leary about not being about to call Pietro and Wanda mutants. I have faith though, and am interested in seeing Ultron on screen and how they will transition from phase 2 to 3.
Captain America The Winter Soldier: Bucky survived the fall, and we all knew it was going to happen. Crossbones and Falcon also will make their debut on the big screen. I’m excited to say the least —– I believe that Robert Redford’s character is actually the Red Skull in disguise (or perhaps Baron Zem0), and other than the SHIELD characters involved, I dont think it will really tie into the other movies, and will seem more stand alone.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ——- all I can say is this…. I enjoy it, but have many issues with it. In order to survive as a series, they really need to start adding people from the comics. This half assed SHIELD team just isn’t going to cut it for long. The ONLY reason I’m hanging on at this point is because I want to know what Coulson’s deal is… is he an LMD? Did Magic ressurect him? They are hinting at both robot and magic, so I’m interested. I want to see it survive, but even I am having a hard time staying.
Marvel Miniseries’: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all getting their own thirteen episode series’ where they will then tie in to forming a Defenders type group. —- I’m all for this, but wish they’d do heroes for hire instead of Cage and Rand separately. Jessica Jones holding her own will be tricky; however I do think that by using the Kingpin as the main antagonist for ALL of these, it would be fun and exciting.
Phase 3: Dr. Strange and Antman are the only two confirmed to lead into Avengers 3. Rumors of Black Panther and Inhumans still circulate. — Make it happen and add a new Hulk movie in there. We never got to see the Leader, despite the setup.
Batman vs Superman: Batman’s costume will be more like the traditional black and grey and less armored. Lex Luthor is one of possibly 2 villains (the other being Metallo). Wonder Woman has been cast. There will be cameos by other JLA members. ——- I’m dying to see Affleck in his role, and I think Gal Gadot is beautiful, but she really needs to gain a few pounds. I don’t want Wonder Woman as a main character. Instead, I’d love to see Diana Prince as a potential love interest for Bruce Wayne. Her role could be as simple as observing the other two Trinity heroes and deciding whether to trust man or not. In the end, revealing her true identity would be a great way to kick off JLA. The cameos by other heroes is nice, but I’m hoping it is a quick reference to other people with abilities, and that is all. maybe a flash (pun intended) shown on a monitor or something quick in a news feed.
Justice League: —– not much is known. Please, for the love of God, have Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow and Gary Gustin’s Flash in it. learn A lesson, DC. Superman Returns would have been better with Tom Welling in a Smallville spinoff. Not that Smallville was perfect (it was far from it) but it was established. No one wanted to see someone else in the role. Arrow is doing EVERYTHING right. Tie it all together; otherwise you will have some seriously confused audiences, and countless irritated fans.
Arrow: What’s to come? Clock King, Ra’s Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Flash, possibly the real Black Canary, references to AMAZO, Red Arrow donning the hood, Oliver finally using an eye mask, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad…. the list continues to grow. It’s established. It’s having a Flash spinoff…. Make it part of the movie universe. I can’t stress this enough. Oh, and one other thing. Get rid of Laurel (Dinah) Lance’s sister. Laurel needs to be likeable again, get her crap together, and become the real Black Canary.
There you have it. My two-cents, and hopefully someone will listen out there. Bring me in as a writer or consultant. What do you think? Which movies are you looking forward to? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Chime in. The bottom line? I’m a comic book fan. I want to see both DC and Marvel succeed. I want the best of both worlds.